Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Exchange Server 2007 Bitten By Leap Year Bug

Call it the 2-29 bug. Microsoft's Exchange Server 2007 e-mail and messaging server was hit with a leap year glitch on Friday that prevented administrators from installing the program, setting up new mailboxes in existing Exchange instances, or making other configuration changes.

"We have been made aware that some of our Exchange Server 2007 customers have been experiencing the ... issue," a Microsoft official conceded in a blog post.

The problems occurred if users attempted to start, or restart, the Exchange System Attendant service between 12:00 a.m. UTC on Feb. 29 and 12:00 a.m. UTC on March 1, wrote Nino Bilic, a member of Microsoft's Exchange Server team. UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Time, Wikipedia says, a high-precision atomic time standard used to measure leap seconds, which are announced at irregular intervals to compensate for the Earth's slowing rotation and other discrepancies. Time zones around the world are expressed as positive or negative offsets from UTC. Local time is UTC plus a time zone offset for that location.

Bilic said users could fix the problem simply by restarting Exchange Server -- widely used by large companies companies as well as countless small businesses -- after the critical hours had passed.

Some Microsoft customers, however, blasted the company for not notifying them sooner about the potential problem. "Un-bloody believable," wrote "Gez", in a post on Bilic's blog. "Just spent the best part of nine hours searching the Web and trying to work out what happened. An earlier warning would have been much appreciated."

  • 1